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Protests of India’s citizenship law grow, along with clashes

Protests in India against a new law that provides a path to citizenship for non-Muslims entering illegally from neighboring countries have spread across the country, and demonstrators have clashed with police over the last week. Police fired tear gas at demonstrators in Seelampur, New Dehli, after they burned a police booth and two motorbikes. Roads leading to the Muslim majority neighborhood of Seelampur are now littered with stones, tear gas canisters, and broken glass. Muslims in New Dehli are protesting their right to remain in the country, many of whom may face deportation after decades of living within India.

Protests also occurred in the cities of West Bengal, Kerala, and Karnataka. The law was passed in Parliament last week, and protests immediately ensued on Sunday, where a march by students at Jamia Millia Islamia University turned violent when law enforcement retaliated with rubber bullets and tear gas, chasing protesters and beating them with sticks. The law applies to Hindus, Christians and other religious minorities who live in India illegally but can demonstrate religious persecution in the Muslim dominated countries of Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Afghanistan, but the law does not apply to Muslims.

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